Starting Point for a Solution: General Ariel (Arik) Sharon

General Ariel ("Arik") Sharon, 53, has long been known as a "hawks'hawk" among Israeli politicians. As Agriculture Minister in the last Begin government, he was the leading advocate of building new Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. But now, as Defense Minister, he is pressing for a transition from military to civilian rule in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Last week Sharon gave TIME'S Jerusalem bureau chief David Aikman an exclusive briefing on the West Bank moves and his views on the Palestinian problem. Excerpts:

On His Plan for Civilian Rule in the Occupied Territories: I believe that one of...

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